Working together, Google and ASUS have produced some of the best 7-inch Android tablets ever released - I still use and love my first-gen model. Given the overall success of Nexus 7, it seemed likely that both companies would again work together on a third iteration, but sometimes the tech world can throw a curveball.
DigiTimes is reporting that Google's been mulling a partnership with HTC on a Nexus tablet, but what's interesting is that it isn't a "Nexus 7"; instead, as an 8-inch model, it'd likely be called Nexus 8. If this proves true, it could be that Google isn't planning to immediately get rid of the Nexus 7 line, although I personally would find it a little bizarre to offer two tablets within an inch of each other.
A move like this could be seen as a major loss to ASUS, but it's in fact the opposite. Google's been tightening-up its restrictions with vendors as of late, and that's something ASUS no longer has interest in dealing with. After all, it has its own line of tablets to promote - it's quite hard to pull that off when you're producing a competitor's product at the same time. Plus, we reported just last month about how Google forbids ASUS to ship a notebook with both Android and Windows, completely obliterating what I felt was the coolest product announced at CES, the Transformer Book Duet TD300.
ASUS aside, it's going to be good to see what HTC can pull off with the Nexus 8, if that's in fact what it's going to be called. 8-inches is a bit of an odd spot for tablets, so HTC does have a bit of a challenge to contend with.